Barney Zwartz

Barney Zwartz reviews In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, homosexuality, hypocrisy by Frédéric Martel

Barney Zwartz
22 March 2019

Almost from the day Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis in 2013, he began denouncing fake devotees, whited sepulchres, and hypocrites at the Vatican. His targets, as Frédéric More

The Flying Dutchman (Melbourne Opera) ★★★1/2

Barney Zwartz
04 February 2019

It is easy to overlook – this side of The Ring and Tristan und Isolde – quite how radical Wagner’s first distinctly Wagnerian opera, The Flying Dutchman, r More

Barney Zwartz reviews 'Newman College: A history 1918–2018' by Brenda Niall, Josephine Dunin, and Frances O’Neill

Barney Zwartz
30 August 2018

Drive along College Crescent, the circular avenue that forms Melbourne University’s northern order, and you will see the series of sedate, handsome university colleges that line the edge More

Der Rosenkavalier (Melbourne Opera) ★★1/2

Barney Zwartz
10 August 2018

Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Richard Strauss consciously set out to emulate Mozart in Der Rosenkavalier, and succeeded, creating not only the last great Romantic opera but the most p More

Tristan and Isolde (Melbourne Opera) ★★★★1/2

Barney Zwartz
06 February 2018

Tristan und Isolde, the opera in which Richard Wagner really took art in a new direction, is often described as the most important musical work of the nineteenth century. No lesse More

Letters to the Editor - November 2017

25 October 2017

Comments from ABR readers, published in the November Arts Issue of Australian Book Review.


Barney Zwartz reviews 'Cardinal: The rise and fall of George Pell' by Louise Milligan

Barney Zwartz
22 September 2017

George Pell is the most polarising religious leader Australia has had in recent decades, certainly since Daniel Mannix – perhaps since Samuel Marsden. For most of his career he has been More

Barney Zwartz reviews 'John le Carré' by Adam Sisman

Barney Zwartz
24 March 2016

Of all the stories John le Carré has invented – more than a score of novels, nearly all bestsellers – his own is perhaps the most fascinating. It is dominated by two characters, le Carré himself (real name David Cornwell) and his father, Ronnie.

Biographers naturally pay close attention to the influence of their subjects' parents, but seldom can they e ... More

Spotlight ★★★★★

Barney Zwartz
21 January 2016

Often I am not proud of my profession, but there are times – usually when looking beneath the stones that shore up the established order – when journalists change the world for the bet More